Shawn Mendes is one of pop’s biggest names, currently sitting at the top of the charts with a number-one hit — and now he’s using his voice in a new way. On Wednesday, the “Señorita” singer revealed the launch of his charitable foundation, aptly named the Shawn Mendes Foundation.
“I’m so excited to launch The Shawn Mendes Foundation. For a long time, I’ve wanted to find a way to amplify the causes that my fans and I care deeply about, and to help make the voices of our generation heard. My goal in launching the foundation is to work alongside my fans, and do everything I can to help provide them with a platform that inspires positive change, and empowers young change-makers,” Mendes shared in a press release. “Their energy and dedication to improving the world is so incredible, and I am hoping we can use this as a way to lift each other up, learn together and inspire more people to get involved in giving back,” he added in a statement to TIME.
The Foundation will focus on “youth-related causes” in areas like children’s healthcare, sustainability, mental health, human rights, anti-bullying and education. The singer has touched on many of these subjects previously in his music, with songs like the Grammy-nominated “In My Blood” referencing anxiety, and “Youth” with Khalid reflecting on violence. At the time of the foundation’s launch, Mendes has already partnered with his native Canada’s SickKids pediatric hospital and REVERB, an environmental nonprofit that assists in artists’ attempts to minimize environmental footprints while on tour, and has raised over $1,000,000 through donations and partnerships already. (So far, Mendes has removed about 70,000 plastic bottles from his tours thanks to his work with REVERB.) Going forward, fans’ voices will be especially important: donors’ preferences will help identify the causes the Foundation will support.
This is not Mendes’ first go-round with charitable work: He spearheaded an initiative with DoSomething.org for teen mental health, donated more than $100,000 to the Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund with the Red Cross of America, supported the March For Our Lives with his “Youth” music video and helped fund the construction of schools in Ghana with Pencils of Promise. He plans to continue working with those organizations, alongside the work of the Shawn Mendes Foundation.
Mendes’ commitment to charitable work comes as many celebrities have begun speaking more openly about their social and political stances on everything from LGBTQ+ rights to the crisis in the Amazon.
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